Study Shows Effects of Workplace Conflict on Employee Productivity

Published: August 24, 2020 | Last Updated: July 14, 2022by Noah Shaw

Summary of:

Shakoor, R., Hafeez, M., Maeenuddin*, Yusrini, L., and Hussain, A., “Workplace conflicts and its effect on employee productivity: A mediating role of workplace politics” (2020). International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 24(3), 2774-2783.

Background & Theory:

Employee productivity is key to successful organizational performance. Therefore, an organization with low employee productivity is likely not maximizing its efficiency and potential earnings. Past studies have suggested that workplace conflict takes up a significant amount of the work week and can negatively affect employees. This study focuses on the relationship between workplace conflict and employee productivity, with an additional focus on the mediating role of workplace politics.


Research was conducted by Rabia Shakoor et al. to answer the following questions:

    1. What is the relationship between workplace conflict and employee productivity?
    2. What role, if any, does workplace politics play in the relationship between workplace conflict and employee productivity?


Questionnaires were sent out to public universities of Rural Sindh with a 61.23% survey response rate. In total, 199 questionnaires were collected from participants and utilized in this study. The questionnaire consisted of 5 personal data questions, 10 questions surrounding workplace conflict, 8 questions on workplace politics, and 11 questions on employee productivity. All questions were Likert-style and were adapted from previous verified research studies.


After analyzing the data, a negative relationship was found between workplace conflict and employee productivity. This suggests that as workplace conflict increases, employee productivity decreases. Furthermore, a positive relationship existed between workplace conflict and workplace politics. Results also displayed that workplace politics is a significant mediator of the negative relationship between workplace conflict and employee productivity. This suggests that workplace politics helps to increase the prevalence of workplace conflict and by extension, decreases employee productivity.

What We Can Learn:

Looking over this research, we can take away the following key insight:

Final Takeaways

For Consultants: Organizations unconvinced of the harm of workplace conflict need only look at this study to see proof that workplace conflict negatively impacts organizational welfare.

For Everyone: Finding ways to individually manage workplace conflict may be a helpful method of increasing your own productivity.

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Noah Shaw

Noah is the Peace Operations Coordinator at Pollack Peacebuilding Systems and holds a Master's in Dispute Resolution from the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law.